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Flying the Coop

Posted on 29 Aug 2016 @ 2:32am by Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant Lucas Abrams M.D. & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: MD 7 || 0730 Hours

Lucas made his way toward Camila’s room to check on her. He was exhausted, but managed to sleep for a few hours after he’d returned from his search and rescue mission with Ensign Thatcher the day before. That had proven to be quite eventful, especially considering they’d found a few people who were alive, but in desperate need of medical attention. He’d done what he could for them on the scene to get them stabilized, then carried each of them to sickbay personally. It wasn’t an easy job to do, but it was necessary to keep them alive. When he joined Starfleet, that was the number one reason… to help people.

He made his way into the room and smiled down at the woman settled on the bed. The tall man knew she couldn’t wait to fly the coop, and he couldn’t say he blamed her. If the roles were reversed, and it was him in her position, he’d want to be out as fast as possible. While he planned to release her, it was going to come with some pretty strict rules for her to follow. It was up to her to see to it that she followed through with them, and if she didn’t, then Camila would be right back where she was now. And when he showed up to escort her back to sickbay, he wouldn’t feel even the slightest bit guilty. “So, Lieutenant Di Pasquale, how are we feeling this morning?”

Camila looked up from the PADD she had in one hand and offered the behemoth surgeon a smile that was more realistic than the ones she had faked the day before. “Like I’m in a brig without a forcefield with the biggest, nicest guard that I could ever hope for, Doctor Abrams. Is there good news?”

“You’re sucking up. I like it,” he said with a smile as he closed the distance between him and the bed. In reality, he was going to let her leave regardless, but it was rather nice to have a little butt kissing going on instead of hostility. Not that she’d ever really been hostile toward him. “Everything is looking good. I’m willing to release you, but there are a few rather strict rules you’re going to be following for the next forty-eight hours,” he said, crossing his arms over his broad chest. “And if you think you’ll be able to skirt past them without my knowledge… don’t. I will know, and I’ll show up to escort you right back here personally.”

“Sucking up?” Camila turned her smile up a notch. “I would never do such a thing. It would ruin my reputation as the Chief of Security, my good Doctor.” She paused when he approached and wondered why he never went into Security with his behemoth-class build. “Strict rules? You make it sound like I have a history of getting myself put into sickbay every chance I get. As the Chief of Security, I’m more likely to get a hangnail or spill coffee on myself than I am to be hurt in the field. Besides which, there’s no fields for me to hurt myself in.”

Lucas shook his head. “I’m not making it sound like anything other than the fact that you could have died, Lieutenant. If you’d prefer to hang out here for another day, I’d be more than grateful for the company.”
Now the smile dropped from her face and her expression darkened. “Doctor Abrams,” she started. “I’m well aware of the fact that I almost died in the defense of this ship and everyone aboard. I was on the bridge when I sent a tricobalt device to that Romulan warbird and blew it to hell and that I was injured just like three quarters of the personnel on this ship. I don’t make a habit of getting myself hurt. I’ll follow your restrictions, make no mistake about that, but don’t threaten to keep me here.”

“This is exactly the reason why I’m going to release you, Lieutenant. You’ve got fight,” the large man said, “But, I’d appreciate it if you calmed down a bit. I was only kidding. Seems I should work on that a bit.” He adjusted the biomonitor on her arm. “Restrictions for your release. Number one, you’re on light duty for the next forty-eight hours unless something happens to cause that to fly out the window. I’m well aware that there are circumstances that prevent that at times, and I won’t hold it against you. Number two, you’re going to continue wearing the biomonitor on your arm so you can continue to be monitored. It might seem like a nuisance, but it’s for the best in this situation. Number three, try to avoid stress. Delegate responsibilities if you need to. That’s why you’ve got an Assistant Chief.” He paused so she could interject if she felt the need.

Camila forced herself to calm down and nodded. “I can live with those restrictions and I apologize for snapping at you, Doctor,” she said with a sigh. “The more I see of the reports that keep coming in, the angrier I get. I feel like I’m letting people down by not being there to handle matters for my department. People are out there breaking their backs to set things straight and I’m lying here giving orders through a combadge and reading impersonal reports. It’s frustrating.”

“You’re forgiven for snapping. You aren’t the first, and definitely won’t be the last. I understand your frustrations, too,” Lucas said. “It’s going to take a few to get everything finalized so you can be on your way, though. If for any reason you find yourself starting to feel unusual, you’re to get back here as soon as possible. Is there anyone who might be able to stay with you? As a precaution.”

“What do you classify as unusual?” Camila asked him. If she were going to be under restrictions, she had to know everything that the doctor considered unusual.

“Abnormal breathing sounds, extreme coughing, coughing up blood, fever, a drop in blood pressure, confusion, fatigue, bluish lips or skin color… things like that,” he answered. Lucas wasn’t trying to scare her, but she did have to know what to look for. “I’d prefer if you could have someone stay with you, or stay with someone else. If that’s not an option, the biomonitor should pick up on any changes.”

“I do have a...significant other,” Camila said, still uncertain of what it was her and Temerant had since the Trill thought that boyfriend and girlfriend was outdated. “I could ask him to stay with me or I could stay with him. He’s the Second Officer and Chief of Operations and has been very busy.”

“I’m sure he’d be okay with it if you asked,” he said. “I’m going to start the discharge process, then you’ll be on your way.”

“Thank you, Doctor Abrams,” Camila said with a smile. “I’ll be sure to keep myself out of trouble.”

Lucas returned the smile. “I know you will, Lieutenant. I’ll be back shortly to discharge you,” he said just before he walked out of the room.

Shortly after Doctor Abrams walked out of the room, a new person appeared in the doorway with her two furry companions. “Rumor has it you’re getting to leave soon,” Joey said, making her way inside with Rico and Pequeno, who was now walking on a leash. Despite sleeping a bit the night before, she still looked tired, but was pushing through it easy enough. The dreams that plagued her kept her from truly sleeping, but she’d managed to keep herself as still as possible as to not wake Harvey. “I know you’ve got to be excited.”

Camila looked up and smiled when Joey came in with Rico and the tiny black puppy, then her smile dropped when she remembered the circumstances of why she had the little Chow Chow. “Hey, Joey,” she said softly. “Yeah. Doctor Abrams said I could leave based on certain restrictions that I have to follow. Did you get some downtime last night?”

“The restrictions are put into place for our own good, though. Even if they do suck. As for downtime, though, I got a bit, yes,” the brunette replied as she moved over to settle down on the chair next to the bed. “I was up early this morning as usual, though. I’m getting ready to make my way to Security and start cleanup.”

“It looks like you have your hands full,” the honey blonde Chief said and nodded towards Pequeno who was busy chewing on his leash. “Are you going to keep him in active duty?”

“I… don’t know,” Joey answered honestly. “I don’t know if I’m going to keep either of them active duty. I’ll keep training them, of course, but I’m just… I’m just not sure how I feel about putting either of them in danger. Yesterday was a huge wakeup call.” And, she was still feeling the effects of it, but planned to keep those to herself.

“It was and I got a wake up call, myself,” Camila said. “No matter what kind of spin I try to put on it, I’m responsible for the aftermath and all I can do is lie here.”

“There was no other choice, Camila. Without what was done, none of us would be here right now, and you know it,” she said, shaking her head. “And, it wouldn’t have just been us. Countless other people would have died needlessly. Instead of focusing on the negative side of things, look to the positive side… and that would be all the lives that were spared. The Consortium don’t care about who dies as long as their main objective is met. Your plan wiped out a weapon of mass destruction as well as one of their higher ranking officers. They’re down two less ships… we won.” Even if it came with a high price.

“I’m also responsible for the death of Starfleet personnel if they were coerced, brainwashed, drugged or just lied to by Consortium agents, Joey. They didn’t start out as Consortium and probably didn’t have a choice as to what they were doing,” Camila said. “Bast was drugged and telepathically manipulated into doing what he did and he feels violated because of that. He didn’t have a choice in the matter. How many people did I kill who didn’t have a choice?”

“And how many were killed because they did have a choice?” Joey asked. “You’re not going to do yourself, or anyone around you, any good if you let this eat away at you. But, I understand how you feel. When I went over to the Chimera, it was kill or be killed. Thankfully, the death count wasn’t as high as it could have been, but innocent people were still hurt because of what I did. Some of them will suffer the effects of it for the rest of their lives. Do you have any idea how that makes me feel? To know that careers could be over because of something I did?” She shook her head and swallowed back a lump in her throat. What could he do about it now? Nothing. It was done. But now… it was plaguing her while she slept… or attempted to. She’d find a way to get through it. That’s just what she did. “I was still on the ship when it was boarded. Everything I stand for told me to help, but I didn’t. If I would have just listened to my gut, Xavier might still be alive today. He’s not, and I get to live with the what ifs.”

“Joey,” Camila started. “You may have did what you did on the Chimera, but I’m the one who came up with the plan to take that ship. Yes, you carried out those orders but I knew what the effects of the LRAD devices were and have to live with that decision. Right now, it’s Starfleet versus Starfleet via Consortium and we have to do what we have to do. It’s my fault that Xavier and others died when the ship was boarded because I didn’t authorize changes to the Security protocols that I had Cooper enter for me. I didn’t see it until it was too late and they were already aboard and by the time I authorized it, it was already too late. That’s something more that I have to live with.”

“Look, Camila… yesterday was a living nightmare for everyone on this ship,” Joey said as she got to her feet. “This pity party you seem to be throwing yourself based on the choices that were made… you need to get over it. I need to get over it. This is what we do for the greater good of the Federation. We protect it by any means necessary. When someone comes into your yard with the intent to kill you, and many other people, you do whatever the hell you have to to make sure the ones playing on the right side of the field survive.” The more she said, the more she realized she needed to pay attention to it herself, and hopefully, she could. If she got into trouble for what she was doing, then she’d deal with it when the time came, but for now… a little tough love was in order. “You’ve got an entire department depending on you, Lieutenant. It’s time to buck up, put your big girl panties on, and find the best way you can to cope with everything. I’m well aware that I need to do the same.”

“You’re right,” Camila said after a thoughtful moment mentally inspecting what Joey had told her. “As soon as I get out of here, I’m going to start making changes in the department and I want you to be a part of that process. The Assistant Chief of Tactical was killed in the battle and I’m thinking that Lieutenant Cooper may be better suited to that role...and that you’d make a fine Assistant Chief of Security.”

Joey blinked. That was not what she was expecting after talking to a superior officer in such a manner. Often times, taking a firm hand with someone in higher position resulted in bad things happening. She wasn’t entirely sure what she thought would happen, but a change in the roster wasn’t one of the many different outcomes. In fact… she was rendered speechless. What could she possibly say to that? “I… don’t know what to say.”

The Security Chief laughed. “You just told me to put on my big girl panties, Joey,” she said. “I appreciate people with ability to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done. When I was the Assistant Chief and had just came aboard, I was bypassing my Chief and the Executive Officer and taking things straight to Captain Geisler. I ended up arresting the old Chief of Security on the very bridge of this ship for treason and assault on the Captain. The Captain repaid me by making me the Chief of Security. Do you sense a pattern here?”

“And I’m aware that I need to take my own advice, and I fully plan to. I had nightmares last night. Not about taking over the Chimera, but about what happened in the armory,” she admitted. It wasn’t something she really wanted to talk about, but it was still eating away at her. The one person she really wanted to talk to about it had far more important things to deal with, and something traumatic that tormented her while she tried to sleep wasn’t one of them. Joey would work through it just as she’d done with so many other things in the past. It was just going to take some time. “You getting the Chief spot after what happened was well deserved, and I think you’ll do right by it. Har… Captain Geisler… doesn’t do anything half-assed. He saw something in you, and made the right choice.”

“I’m not saying this to be cruel, but my father always said improvvisare, adattarsi e superare. That means improvise, adapt and overcome,” Camila said. “We all have to do that in one way or another and we’re all trained to do that. I’m not saying to dismiss the nightmares and I won’t order you to counseling. That will be your choice if you seek counseling or not.” She paused and cocked her head to the side. “Harvey, is it?” she said with a nod of her head. “You know how I feel about rumors, Joey. I don’t care who is doing who on this ship as long as they also do their duty, so tell me.”

“That’s what I do,” the brunette said. For something like what happened in the armory… it was going to take a little bit of time, but she wasn’t going to let it affect her duties in any way. “The Captain said he was going to speak to you about it when he had the chance, and I trust that he will, but he and I are a couple as of yesterday morning… before I went over to the Chimera. So… that should tell you that it isn’t going to interfere with duty. I know how to keep my professional and personal lives separate. There aren’t too many people who know given everything that’s been going on, but we’re not exactly going to keep it a secret, either.”

Camila listened and nodded. “As I once told Captain Geisler, if you can find someone who makes you happy, you should take the opportunity to be happy. I’m not a judge, a jury or an executioner in those matters. I’m a person just like everyone else under the uniform and when I get off shift, I leave Lieutenant Di Pasquale in the Security office until she’s needed. I’m happy that you’ve found someone, Joey and I hope he’s happy with you.” She made a mental note to change the name of the person the Captain was now with and was satisfied that she didn’t have to launch an investigation into Corwin’s background as she already knew it. “Now, you also need to give me answer in regards to my offer to you.”

“Thank you, Camila, and for the record, he does make me happy. I think I make him happy, too. He hasn’t given me reason to think otherwise. For now, we’re taking things one day at a time,” she said, sitting back down once again. Joey knew she couldn’t stay too much longer, but she was going to anyway just so she could help Camila get down to Security and settled in. “As for your offer, I would be a fool to decline. So, I accept. I look forward to it, in fact. Once the changes have been put into place, I’d like to schedule a meeting with you to go over some ideas I’ve gotten over the last twenty-four or so hours, too.”

“That’s what counts,” the blonde woman said with a smile. “As for the changes, don’t go throwing your weight around until I have a chance to make it official. I don’t need people barging in on me with complaints as soon as I sit back down at my desk. In fact, I’ve been ordered to try to be stress free if that’s possible. In the meantime, try to get as much...something or other…” the woman paused and shook her head. “Yeah. That sounded professional, didn’t it? I need to clear my head. You, though, need to get back to the Security office and see what we have left to work with.”

“I think you misunderstood, Chief. I did say ‘once the changes have been put into place’,” Joey stated. “When they are, I’d like for you and I to sit down so we can discuss them… flesh things out a bit, then take it from there.” She rose to her feet again and placed a hand against Camila arm. “You’re going to be out of here soon, and we’ll try to have things in some semblance of order for when you return. I’d like to stick around and help you once you are released, but an order is an order whether you’re laying here, or sitting behind your desk. I’ll see you soon.”

“It’s the drugs,” Camila said. “Definitely the drugs. You can stay in that case, Joey. I was really bored sitting here looking at the PADD of Bad News and talking to people on my combadge. The Doctor is nice, but he frowns on me doing anything but following his orders, so if you want to say, I won’t order you back to work.”

“I do need to get back to work, though, but I at least want to help you get down to Security. I know you’re going to want to jump in head first,” the taller woman said. “I’m sure he’s going to be coming back soon, so I’m going to go up to your quarters and grab your uniform for you. Is there anything else you need while I’m there?”
“No,” Camila said, then stopped. “When you open my wardrobe, wait three seconds before you reach in. I don’t want you to lose an arm or anything else. Also, I wouldn’t try to touch anything else. My quarters are set up to be as unfriendly as possible to intruders. I think I may have overdid it in a few instances and will have to revise. I didn’t plan on anyone being there when I’m not.”

Joey shook her head. “I’m not going there to touch anything. I’m just going to grab your uniform, then come back here. I’ll be back in just a few,” she said, offering Camila a smile before she and the two canines made their way out of the room.

Lucas walked inside a moment later with a PADD in his hand and smiled at Camila. He was ready to discharge her and had all of his orders ready for her to review, then sign off on. “I see you had a visitor while I was away.”

“You did. It was Lieutenant Corwin,” Camila said. “She’s going to get a uniform for me and return. She even offered to help me back to my quarters or office, whichever the case may be. As long as I’m free.”

“As long as you stick with light duty, I’m okay with either. Delegate responsibility,” he said, handing the PADD over for her to review. It contained everything they’d already discussed and needed her signature. “When she comes back with your uniform, you’ll be free to go. The biomonitor stays on.”

Camila took the PADD and looked everything over before she signed off on it. “Light duty, check,” she said with a smile. “How long do I have to keep it on, Doctor Abrams?” she wanted to know.

“Roughly forty-eight hours,” Luc answered. “I want you to come back here so I can look you over and officially clear you.”

“Got it,” she said as she handed the PADD back to him. “Forty-eight hours, light duty and to report any unusual symptoms. Anything else?”

Lucas shook his head, taking the PADD back from her, then transferring a copy of the stipulations to her. “Nope, that should take care of it. You’re free to go as soon as Lieutenant Corwin arrives. It’s good to have friends like her around that are willing to help out. Take care, Lieutenant, and if you need me for any reason and find you can’t make it here, I’ll make a housecall.” He offered her a smile and excused himself again so he could check on other patients.

Camila laid back on the bed again and looked up at the ceiling, mentally going over the thousand and one things that she needed to do, who she needed to delegate to and when they needed to be done. The ship was in a shambles and she had only been getting reports from Security but she knew from the briefing with the Captain that the other departments hadn’t fared any better. The ship and crew had taken some serious blows and she wondered how much more the personnel on her were going to stand up under the constant strain without fights and other incidents breaking out.

A short while later, Joey returned with her uniform and boots. Camila’s belt was already on the side table, so there wasn’t a need to grab it from her quarters. “Are you ready to get out of here?” she asked with a smile, setting the clothing down on the chair so she could move over to her superior officer and help her sit up.

“You have no idea how bad I’m ready to get out of here,” Camila said as she accepted Joey’s aid in sitting up. She moved her legs over the edge of the bed and stood up, favoring her left side just a bit. Without concern of modesty, she pulled her sickbay gown off and let it drop before she picked up her uniform pants and began to get into them. “Did you have any problems in my quarters?”

“None,” Joey answered, prepared to help Camila out if she needed it. Rico and Pequeno sat not too far away waiting to be on their way again. “I waited three seconds like you told me to, grabbed your uniform and left again. It wasn’t too bad at all. If you’re anything like me, this can’t be easy on you. I’m not the kind of person who takes a lot of help from others. Normally, I just deal with things on my own and make the best of it.”

“No, I don’t, but I’m learning to understand the need to rely on others,” the honey blonde Security Chief said as she looked at her arm band biomonitor. “Now how am I supposed to get my uniform top on without taking this thing off?”

“Wear it underneath your uniform,” the brunette suggested. “That’s the only way I can think to make it work without taking it off.”

Camila shrugged and started to pull the top on. “This is going to feel really awkward,” she muttered as she pulled it over her head and put her arms in the sleeves . “I should have asked him before I did this.”

Joey grabbed the jacket from the chair and held it out so Camila could slip her arms into it. “In time, you won’t even realize it’s there,” she said. “I’m glad you’re okay, Camila. Truly. If you ever need to talk… about anything… my door is always open to you.” She didn’t normally pull punches, and it was no secret she was a forward individual.

“Screw the jacket,” Camila said as she put it over one arm. “Thank you for everything, Joey,” she said as she finished dressing and put the combadge on her chest again. She picked up the PADD in her free hand and looked at her. “I’ll take you up on that and I want you to know that my door is open to you as well.”

“I appreciate that, and I might take you up on it, but I cope best on my own. It’s been that way for a while now,” Joey said, grabbing the leashes of the two dogs. “Let’s go get you settled, then I’ll start getting the department back in order. As per Doctor Abrams’ orders, you’re not allowed to help, but you can boss the rest of us around from a chair and no one will complain even a little, or I’ll hang my boot in their ass.”

“I’m good at bossing people around, but not so much sitting on my ass,” Camila said as she walked out of Sickbay beside of the Amazon brunette. “Besides, it’ll give me some things to do while I wait for the restrictions to be lifted.”

“And you’ll love every single second of it,” the brunette said with a smile. “It’s going to be okay, you know. Time will fly by, then you’ll be back to your regular duties in no time.”

“I also plan on getting back into the rank and file,” Camila said as she headed down the corridor. “I don’t want my ass getting flat and fat by sitting in a chair all the time.”

Joey couldn’t help but laugh. “You make it sound like you’re being confined to light duty for the rest of your life. It won’t be that bad, I assure you. If you listen to Doctor Abrams orders, you might not even have to wait that long.”

“You were back on your feet and less restricted than I am, Joey,” she laughed. “He had to point out twice to me that I almost died. Honestly, if it hadn’t been for the Captain and Temerant, I probably would have died on the bridge. I still don’t know how to properly thank them.”

“I only hurt my shoulder, Camila, that’s why I was able to get out as fast as I did. And, I was put on light duty, but circumstances happened, and that flew right out of the window,” she pointed out. “As for thanking them, I wish I had some kind of idea, but sadly, I don’t.”

“Maybe I could put on a violin performance,” Camila said. “I haven’t played since after I had to arrest the former Chief of Security. I was in the holodeck playing when the Captain came in, promoted me and gave me the Chief spot.”

“That’s a promotion worth remembering,” Joey said with a smile. “I play classic and electric guitar when time permits. We’ll have to get together and play one of these days if you’re ever feeling up to it.”

“I’d like that,” she said. “Maybe we can form a band. I think I heard that there’s some singers on board as well. We need a drummer, too.”

“I’d have to think about the band thing, but we can definitely get together and play for fun. We’ll get together and make plans to do that,” the taller woman said as the hit their destination. “For now, though, it’s back to the grind. Don’t worry about how things look right now. We’ll get it taken care of. I’ll check out your office and if it needs to be straightened up, I can do that before I move on to the rest of it.” Already, there were other Security personnel working on getting the place back in order.

“If I worried about how things looked, I would have painted the walls blue by now and given everyone carnations to wear in their hair,” the Chief said. “I just want things to work properly when we need them to.”

“We’re getting there,” Joey said with a smile as they got to Camila’s office. “Here we are. Once I see what the inside looks like, and if anything needs to be adjusted, I’ll let you get settled back in.”

“Thank you, Joey,” Camila said. “I think that I’m going to enjoy getting to order you around if this is what you volunteer to do.” She winked to let the taller woman know she was kidding.

Joey laughed. “This is what I signed on for. There’s not much chance of me moving up anywhere, so you’ll get to order me around all you want.”

“What are you talking about?” Camila asked. “I’m moving you to Assistant Chief.”

“I know, and I’m grateful for it, but I was speaking beyond that,” the taller woman replied. “But, I don’t mind it really. I don’t do what I do for the positions, rank or recognition.”

“Have you considered putting in for a transfer to another ship?” Camila asked. “I wouldn’t stop you, but I’d hate to lose a first rate officer like yourself, but if it’s for your advancement in rank, I’d support you.”

“No, and I won’t put in for a transfer, either,” Joey answered with the shake of her head. “I’m fine where I’ll be once the adjustments have been made. It’s not a matter of anything else but loving what I do.”

“Well, in that case, keep doing a great job of what you do,” she said. “Shall we see what the damage is in my office? I’m glad I only had a mug in there to personalize the place. It’s transparent aluminum, so it shouldn’t have broken.”

“Then, open up the door and let’s see what we’re dealing with.”

Camila entered her authorization code and took a breath before she pushed the door open looked in. Everything that hadn’t been bolted down was now in a pile in one corner of the office and it looked as if some PADDs hadn’t survived the impact. “I really hope none of those had critical information which wasn’t copied already,” she said. “With the computer being down and people running everywhere, backups would have been critical.”

Joey looked around once the door was open and saw that the damage wasn’t as bad as she’d thought it might have been. “Okay… you settle down and while I work on getting this taken care of, then I’ll move on to help out everyone else.” she said, moving to the pile in the corner. There was no way she was going to let Camila exert herself after just being released from sickbay. Besides… she didn’t want Doctor Abrams hunting her down for letting it happen in the first place. She didn’t make a habit out of doing it, but she’d toss Camila under the shuttle faster than she could blink if she needed to.

A cup with a wolf etched into its side lay under Camila’s desk and the Chief came in after Joey and shook her head. “Remind me next time to not leave anything unsecured in my office when I step out,” she said as she went to her desk and straightened her chair upright. “Right now, I could really use a mug of Raktajino and I don’t even know where my mug is.”

Joey caught sight of it once she’d picked up the pile of things and put them where the Chief could get to them, then reached down to pick up the wolf cup. She settled it on the desk, then moved over to the PADDs. “That should about do it. If you need me for anything, don’t hesitate to call me. I’ll be helping out the others. It’s good to have you back, Camila.” She offered her a smile and grabbed the leashes of the two dogs again.

“I’d offer you a cup of coffee or something but I don’t even know what’s working and what isn’t,” Camila said as she moved the cup to a corner of her desk by her right hand. “Thank you so much for helping me. Once I get off restrictions, I’m going to treat you to a meal at Talons or maybe share a little something special I save for rare occasions.”

“You’re welcome, Camila, and I meant what I said. If you need me, call me,” the brunette said. “I’ll be here as fast as I can be. When you’re well, we will get together and do something. I promise. We already talked about having a drink together once this was all taken care of, but it can be put off for a bit longer. I’ll check in with you soon.” With that, and another smile, Joey and the two canines made their way out of the office so she could help out with clean up.

After Joey left, Camila reached for the first PADD and activated it, wondering what was on it and if she’d ever get them all sorted before her restrictions were lifted. It was, she decided, going to be a long day.


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